Kettering University graduate's love for data led to job at Google

Being able to use my technical skills to make someone that happy is extremely rewarding.”

When Danielle Detering ‘13 graduated from Kettering University, she was looking for a job that used her love for data and challenged her. After traveling from California to Michigan for school, she decided to head back to Silicon Valley and take a chance at a job that would do all that.

In September 2013, Detering became a hardware reliability engineer at Google in Mountain View, California. Throughout the years she moved through a few different roles, including data scientist and now web solutions engineer.

“I grew up in Santa Cruz. Google is just right over the hill so I figured I might as well give it a shot. I thought it was out of my reach, but I was lucky enough to reach that,” said Detering, who studied Applied Mathematics at Kettering. “I think Kettering played a huge part in me getting a job at Google.”

The co-op experience and Kettering’s reputation is what gave Detering an edge, she said.

“The experience I had as a student was as a hardware reliability engineer. That’s not a field a lot of young people go into,” she said.

Detering’s job as web solutions engineer is a cross between a software engineer and program manager. She is responsible for taking care of a problem from start to finish.

For example, customer routing is something that she frequently work on. If a university calls Google and asks to buy an education version of Gmail or wants to purchase something for the Google Cloud Platform, then chances are they'll be speaking to a representative using a web application Detering created to help them learn more about the customer and figure out the best sales specialist to help them. 

Danielle Detering '13 (third from the left) in front the YouTube office mural at Google.
Danielle Detering '13 (third from the left) in front the YouTube office mural at Google.

“Google is challenging, but also fun and very rewarding. Learning never stops here. I’m always learning about programming now and that was a whole new world to me a couple of years ago. Now I learn how to apply it to different things on a regular basis,” Detering said. “I also have internal customers, sales representatives, that I work with and figure out how to automate the boring parts of their lives so they can worry about the more important parts of their jobs. They love it. Being able to use my technical skills to make someone that happy is extremely rewarding.”

Detering has being intrigued with math since she was younger. At first it started because she thought it would help her be better at playing video games, but then she learned she could use it for many more opportunities.

When she received information in the mail about Kettering in high school, she knew the quality STEM education and the co-op program was exactly what she needed. From there the skills she learned from her course work, her co-op and her thesis allowed her to be versatile in her career. Learning has constantly evolved since her time at Kettering.

Google has taught Detering more than she expected when she started there more than four years ago.

“I don’t regret taking a chance. I didn’t have much to lose, and it’s been a great learning experience,” Detering said. “I have always wanted to be a public health scientist. With the skills I’m learning now, Google is helping shape that dream a lot better than I originally thought.”